Special Issue on African Peace Interventions

African peace interventions seen ‘from below’: Politics and Disconnects – special issue edited by Antonia Witt

African Union officers participate in a mediation workshop in Somalia. (Photo: AMISOM Public Information, flickr, http://bit.ly/2FOmIsD, CCO 1.0)

African Union officers participate in a mediation workshop in Somalia. (Photo: AMISOM Public Information, flickr, http://bit.ly/2FOmIsD, CCO 1.0)

Afri­can reg­ional organi­zations such as the Afri­can Union (AU) and the Eco­nomic Comm­unity of West Afri­can States (ECOWAS) are in­creas­ingly en­gaged in buil­ding peace and promoting demo­cratic gover­nance within their member states. The special issue of the South Afri­can Jour­nal of Inter­nat­ional Affairs, guest-edited by Antonia Witt, ex­plores Afri­can regional inter­ven­tions as ‘seen from below’.

By focus­ing on the practices and politics of those in­volved in im­plemen­ting, dea­ling with, or livi­ng under the effects of Afri­can inter­ventions it allows the ob­server to better under­stand the con­tested politics of Afri­can inter­ven­tions and dis­con­nects bet­ween grand reg­ional archi­tec­tures and their act­ual im­prints on the ground. Such a shift in pers­pective, Antonia Witt argues in her introductory article and in the conclusion co-authored with Gilbert Khadiagala, offers im­por­tant emp­irical, theo­retical, and norm­ative impli­cat­ions for the study of Afri­can inter­ven­tions.

The con­tributions to this spe­cial issue scrutinize dif­fer­ent sites and anal­yze the prac­tices of di­verse agents of inter­ven­tion, rang­ing from protest­ing civil society groups to liai­son officers and early warn­ing ex­perts. Case studies come from conflicts and reg­ional inter­ven­tions inter alia in Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar and Mali. The special issue unites con­tri­butions from dif­fer­ent disci­plinary back­grounds written by both re­searchers and prac­titioners from across Europe and Africa.

The special issue is the outcome of a workshop organized in January 2017 in Ouagadougou, which was funded under the DFG-Program Point Sud.

 

Publication: “African Peace Interventions Seen ‘from Below’: Politics and Disconnects”, Special Issue South African Journal of International Affairs, Vol 25:1.